Best Lapel Microphones 2021

Rode SmartLav+ Lavalier Microphone

Rode SmartLav+ Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone...
  • Broadcast quality, professional-grade Lavalier Mic with TRRS Jack
  • High-quality omnidirectional condenser capsule; discrete 4.5 millimeter miniature microphone
  • Kevlar reinforced cable ensures that you never stretch or snap your microphone under normal usage...

The Rode smartLav + is one of the best lavalier microphones for smartphones. You can use it with a DSLR or audio recorder, but you may need a TRRS to TRS adapter like the Rode SC3. The smartLav + offers exceptional sound and build quality, which is rare for devices of this size. It is an omni-directional condenser microphone, which means that it picks up sound from all angles. It is built with a windshield to reduce wind noise and explosions. The cable is Kevlar reinforced and the clip is strong so you don’t have to worry about it falling off.The Rode Smart Lav + is a lavalier microphone designed for use in interviews and other audio tasks where it is necessary to have a microphone close to the subject. It is advertised as a broadcast quality microphone and I have to say that after using it the audio quality is good.

The sound quality is clear and well defined with a good signal-to-noise ratio. It comes with a foam protector to prevent explosives and a sturdy metal clip to secure it to clothing. It has no gain control, so you cannot adjust the audio level when entering the smartphone. This is not a problem for apps with adjustable gain, but it could be a problem when using Facebook live. The solution to this is to place the microphone slightly lower on the subject if the sound is too loud. It is not ideal but it solves the problem.

Rode smartLav + is an omni-directional lavalier microphone specially designed for smartphones. It may not be the best microphone on the market, but it certainly offers excellent quality for the price. For a smartphone, you don’t need a high-end microphone anyway. Ease of use is much more important: this device does not require special applications or sophisticated adapters; just plug it in and go. You get significantly better sound quality with this mic than with any built-in mic, and that’s for sure. Best used to record a single person’s speech, with or without video.

Sanken COS-11D Lavalier Microphone

Sanken COS-11D is a high-end omnidirectional lavalier widely used in professional broadcasting. It is very small (only 4mm in diameter) and is easily hidden under clothing. The top three benefits are size, the most natural open sound, and the fact that it makes the least handling noise when rubbing clothes. Sanken is a long-established Japanese manufacturer and COS-11D is possibly the most popular microphone they have ever produced. In professional broadcasting there are many expensive ties that sound good but in the end; It all comes down to ease of use and the form factor where this mic is unrivaled.

Sanken COS-11D has an omni-directional pattern, which means it doesn’t matter, say, if you turn it 90 degrees off-axis, and it hardly makes a difference when a talent turns their head while speaking. Although many microphones are labeled omnidirectional, there is still a tendency to become directional at higher frequencies. For the COS-11D, there is only about 2 dB difference when the axis is off at 180 kHz to 20 kHz, which is fine. The Omni pattern also helps reduce handling noise so common in washing machines when they rub against clothes. In addition, it has a special coating to reduce creaking, which is considered one of the most tolerant.

The microphone is also built to last and has a very durable outer shell. Its water-resistant mesh keeps the diaphragm dry and protected from moisture, sweat, makeup, and inclement weather. This robustness is the key to the longevity and continuous high-end performance of this famous micro sink. In terms of sound capture, the Sanken COS-11D has a consistent omni-directional pattern that greatly helps to capture consistent audio quality from the desired person / sound source. Its frequency response naturally cuts frequencies below 50Hz, effectively eliminating low-end noise and rumble in the microphone signal. The frequency response has a pleasant peak centered around 6 kHz to help improve vocal presence and speech intelligibility. This is a welcome feature as the vast majority of lav microphone applications involve capturing the human voice.

Shure MVL Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone

Shure MVL Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier...
  • 1/8" (3.5 mm) TRRS connector plugs into any mobile phone or tablet with a headset microphone input jack
  • Sleek, miniature housing for discreet appearance onscreen
  • Best-in-class in signal-to-noise ratio, headroom and maximum SPL

Shure MVL is a new lavalier microphone with a TRRS connector designed for mobile devices. It belongs to the Shure Motiv line and comes with a practical mobile application for iOS users. Other users of the platform will have to rely on third-party software, but you should have no compatibility issues. This mic is also the worst of its new lineup and the sound quality is mediocre at best. It has its own strengths, for example it has a high SPL before clipping and can be used for recording indoors at noisy bars and parties. The sound is also quite crisp and clear. But the drawbacks are just too many, so it’s just not worth the money.

It has a 3.5mm TRRS connector and is compatible with any phone or tablet with a microphone jack. Although it was primarily designed to work with phones and tablets, it is also suitable for cameras or directly for a laptop. External interference and unwanted noise are canceled by Shure’s RF / GSM system, which leaves a clear signal. And the microphone clips onto clothing with a strong and stable clip. This clip is quite large and might be a bit difficult to hide.

Shure MVL has a very sharp response; it sounds kind of brilliant and it’s amazing. However, it also brings tons of air on the road and I don’t find it particularly comfortable, especially since it’s digitized. It tastes like someone is showering behind the scenes when the person starts talking. The frequency response is relatively neutral, so the tone is balanced overall, but at the same time it sounds harsh and distorted. The low end is slightly rolled up, but it’s pretty accurate and doesn’t sound small at all. This may be one of the reasons to love him. But the only reason to buy it would be the ability to work in a high sound pressure environment. Most lavs these days cut off when you yell or even clap. Still, Shure MVL can handle sounds much louder than that.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.